Here’s my new video about Imbolc, part of the Druid Festival Series on my YouTube channel. Hope you like it! x
But it’s raining.
It’s cold, and my arthritis is acting up.
It’s going to be dark soon, and it’s nice and warm in here.
My feet, shins, hands and back hurt. The air is cold on my face. I currently hate the world, because it’s full of idiots who aren’t abiding by the guidelines to keep this pandemic at bay. I hate our government. I hate not seeing my family. I am sad and angry and lonely and fed up and in pain.
The beech wood has mostly passed me by. I finally look up, and see the light coming through the guardian oaks that border the wood. The ground is hard, the mud has frozen. In that pale, low light, on the edge of the heath, I take a deep breath, filling my lungs with winter.
Breathing in Skadhi.
I am taken back in my mind to hours spent in the forests of my home, on my skis, with no one around me. Just me and the chickadees and the blue jays, the snow and the snow shadows. And here I am, across the ocean, with just me and the crows, the deer and the long shadows. I remember.
My heart awakens to winter. Its song fills my soul. I step outside of my pain, and embrace being alone. I am sovereign and I am free. I am out in the wilderness of the heath, with the deer herds and the hawks, the falcons and the foxes. I am with them, I am of them. I am winter. I am in the utangarth, beyond the innangarth. And it is good. It reminds me who I am.
I am strong, I am resilient. I know what I want. I have made it, I have made a life and a home. I am happy, I am doing what I want in life, what I was meant to do with the skills I have. I am resourceful and I am lucky. I am grateful.
Skadhi walks beside me. She has been there my whole life. She doesn’t guide me, she inspires me. I walk my own path through the snow drifts, I glide where I can, I toil where it’s necessary. I hear her song in the north-easterly winds that blow against the house, bringing sleet and snow. I am hearing her speak her mind, and I do the same. Skadhi took on the might of Asgard. I can take on the might of Midgard. For I know who I am.
I get home, the darkness is all around me. The winter night draws in, the frosty ground crunching under my feet. I look up at the stars and find the North Star, my guiding light in the inky blackness. I set my bearings, to steer my life on the course that I desire. I then go inside, and have a cup of coffee. My cheeks are flushed, and the house is warm. I feel better. And I know why.
I listened to Skadhi’s message.
It’s been about a year since I’ve properly danced, and I’m a little rusty. I am not a professional dancer, by any means. I just love to dance; I always have. These videos are to encourage you to dance, in whatever capacity you can manage, to express yourself and to move your body, getting in touch with nature and with your own nature.
When I was a teenager, I would figure skate every night at the local rink (which was free, and outdoors, which was very cold). I was self-taught, watching the competitions on the television every Saturday. I would have loved to have had lessons, and also dancing lessons, but we were on a very tight budget. In later years, I started doing Flamenco, but after a month the teacher moved back to Spain! I then began belly dancing, and continued for 13 years. Now, as my arthritis is kicking in, I’m finding belly dancing hard on my hips, and so I’ve returned to dance in a freeform style. I love being outside, dancing to what I see around me, allowing the songs of nature to blend in with the music.
This piece seemed a fitting end to 2020, as there is hope in the world with the start of the worldwide vaccination programs, changes in government and the lengthening of sunlight during these cold winter months. It’s also a story of a personal journey through 2020. I hope you like it.
Music: “Moving Towards Fine”, by Amaranth Cove, via Epidemic Sound.
I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has walked down the forest path with me over this year. It’s been a difficult and trying year for so many, and I feel hope that so many have pulled together, lighting the darkness so that others can see, guiding them through the dark night of the soul.
This year, I’m no exception to the many who have slogged their way through personal pain. Physical illness and surgery, isolation and separation from family (and not knowing when I’ll be able to return to Canada to see them), and now a recent death in the family and more have all laid their burden upon my soul. But I take heart that the days will soon begin to lengthen, and find hope in the darkest of days. There is a long way to go for most of us, and the trials and tribulations of winter still lie ahead. But have courage, and remember the good moments, the times of joy and celebration, for they will come around again.
We must all accept personal responsibility for getting out of this pandemic. Stay safe, stay well, and look after your loved ones appropriately. I wish you all the best in the coming year, and I’ll be back here once again after a little time off during the holidays.
Blessings of the solstice season, to you all. xoxo
Here is my penultimate video for this year – a bit of a diversion from my regular content! I hope you enjoy it. xoxo
This week’s beautiful fog just screamed at me to get my camera and my butt out onto the heath. Here is the result 🙂
New video is now up on my YouTube channel, about the Winter Solstice, as part of my Druid Festival Series. I hope you like it!
Here’s how I celebrate the Heathen tradition of Mothers’ Night 🙂